AU-UGA Rivalry Nothing New for Muschamp

Auburn's defensive coordinator knows a great deal about the SEC's oldest rivalry.

Auburn, Ala.--Will Muschamp knows the Auburn vs. Georgia rivalry as both a player and coach. On Saturday, he will experience it for the first time as Auburn's defensive coordinator.

The former Georgia safety has a proud Bulldog pedigree, but he makes it clear that he wants to see the Tigers give his alma mater a licking this week.

"You don't ever like getting whipped in front of your friends, that's for sure, so you want to beat them," Muschamp says. "It is just another big SEC game. (Georgia) is a great Auburn rival. The Auburn-Georgia game is a great game to be a part of. I have been on both sides so I am looking forward to Saturday."

Muschamp is on his second assignment as an Auburn coach. He worked on Terry Bowden's staff for defensive coordinator Bill Oliver as an assistant in 1995-96 after earning four letters and serving as captain of the 1994 Georgia team.

The defensive coordinator notes that he and his wife, Carol, who is also a UGA graduate, have lots of Bulldog friends. "Don't ask me for tickets," he says. "I am out." Muschamp notes that his Georgia friends talk to his wife this time of year, but not to the coach who is working to make sure his defense plays well on Saturday.

"We understand you are loyal to who you are working for and where you are," Muschamp says. "I am in Auburn right now. I am working for Tommy Tuberville and I love it. I am happy I am here.

"I loved my time as a player at Georgia," he says. "I loved my time at LSU. Your loyalty in this profession has to change because of the profession you are in. I have got a wife and two kids to take care of and I am in a great place right now."

Although Georgia is 6-4 and Auburn is 9-1, Muschamp knows that the Bulldogs are dangerous as an underdog. He has personal experience on how the team not expected to win often prospers in this rivalry. He was part of the 1994 UGA squad that ended Auburn's winning streak that started at the beginning of the 1993 season.

Georgia came to Jordan-Hare Stadium with just a 5-4 record for that game, but came away with a 23-23 tie. "At that point of our season, a tie was a win," Muschamp notes. "We played pretty good that night. That was a good game for us, especially struggling through my senior season."

Muschamp says he expects another tough game this year. "They are always close, they are always hard-fought, they are always well-coached, hard-played games and I don't expect this one to be any different."


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